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EAVs to decline again in School District 17

CHANNAHON – Property in Channahon School District 17 will show a decrease in equalized valuation assessments, or EAV, this year, just as it has the past four years.

A decrease is likely for another four years, Doreen Linderman, a PMA financial adviser, told the school board in her five-year financial forecast presentation at the board’s Monday night meeting.

The news means another decrease in property tax revenues for the district.

Even though it’s predicted to drop, the EAV is expected to climb to a less negative value this year and over the next few years. The district believes the worst decline may have been 2012.

Board members also learned from the forecast that state aid to the district may become a “flat grant,” as determined based on a formula involving the amount of EAV per student and the number of students.

Or, more likely, it could go away all together, according to district Finance Director Michael Schroeder, which would cost the district $394,000.

Student enrollment is continuing to decline, as well, with a projection of a reduction of 145 students over the next five years and, correspondingly, a reduction of five full-time teachers over the same time period.

Of the expenditures budgeted in fiscal year 2014, Linderman said salaries comprise 45.3 percent.

The costs of medical benefits will increase by about 20 percent, and other expenses are budgeted to increase by 4 percent a year.

Linderman predicted a bit of a decrease in the year-end district budget this year from last year, but healthy balances are expected to remain.

The school district’s financial profile score should remain at a 4.0 for the foreseeable future, she added, which is the highest score attainable.

The board this week also approved measures involving Internet and wireless link bandwidth.

The district will enter into a five-year contract for a 100-mbps fiber optic upgrade with Comcast at a monthly cost of $2,290. Keeping its current provider would have cost the district $3,000 a month to make the change from 50 to 100 mbps.

Schroeder told the board the increase will be necessary to accommodate the new PARCC online field testing.

The other proposal approved was to replace the district’s wireless links with new radios that would achieve 225 mbps. The upgrade will cost $9,658 from Entre Solutions II.

The school board this week also approved the resignation of Katie Beckett as assistant track coach and the hiring of Emily Stephenson as a substitute aide, Thomas Fracassi as an assistant track coach, and Kara Engle as fifth grade girls basketball coach.

Barb Sweet was transferred from EC aide to PE aide, and Alicia Bever was transferred from PE aide to classroom aide. Family medical leave also was approved for Alicia Bever from March 5 through approximately April 22.

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